Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Open water swimmers talk about sharks and jellyfish all the time.

But there are plenty of other marine life in the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers.

On the scary side of the equation, orcas, sea snakes, sea lions, alligators, and hippos are the denizens of the open water while on the more mellow side are whales, dolphins, turtles and manta rays stake claim in the same waters where swimmers ply their trade.

Veterans like Pedro Ordenes of Water World Swim have literally seen it all, from California to Chile, from Miami to the Galápagos Islands.



Here in San Francisco Bay, the seals can be aggressive. They protect their territory. I was swimming one day and one of the big ones came right up to me. I grit my teeth at him and then he came up REAL close, grit his own teeth, and snarled right back to me. He was big and I learned to just smile and keep swimming. I gave him space.”

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association